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Лента новостей
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Why is the Lent getting out of fashion?


The popularity of the Lent in Russia falls. The climax of its popularity was, perhaps, at the end of 1990th when "the moderate Orthodoxy" became fashionable among  "the new Russians" and prominent officials. For example just then the self-respect Moscow restaurants entered into the use "the lenten menu" (now the number of such restaurants has appreciably decreased), and the press began to inform about the novelties of  Kremlin Lenten kitchen.
 
The fashion on a Lent, although it is paradoxical, did not become a special case of a fashion on asceticism which was not at all. The majority came to a Lent from some ethno-medical positions: saying that the organism needs unloading, "cleaning", that our ancestors were wise and for many centuries have saved up a wide experience of such corporal "a self-cleaning", intuitively "having groped" the most suitable season. Thus the fashion on a lent became a special case of the post-Soviet technocratic religiousness directed on an organization of the most comfortable life here, on the Earth (including "a self-cleaning" of the organism), but alien to a mystical asceticism of ancient saints or devotees of Orthodox piety of the newest time. 

Such religiousness logically followed from previous experience of "a materialistic belief"; as a matter of fact, it has only included the new ideas connected with "more thin" forms of existence the same matter with as it appeared could be "invisible" and even "spiritual" into an orbit of this belief. The post-Soviet technocratic religiousness has not met any special repulse from the Church, many representatives from which considered, that "the repentance should occur gradually" and such form of religiousness is all better than nothing.

This pastoral conformism has leaded to a fall of popularity of the Lent which, in fact, appeared as a less effective way of "a self-cleaning" of an organism and "removing of slags" than that ones, which are offered by a modern medicine. It is no wonder as the Christian Lent pursues absolutely other purposes; it rather withdraws from that ideal of comfortable organization of life on the Earth, from that ideal of physical perfection which is "meaning of the life" for the adherents of a technocratic religiousness. From the church point of view, the person brings a "tithe" to God by his lent, devoting 10% of a year to renunciation from terrestrial cares, to renunciation from a comfort for the sake of concentration on preparation himself  for eternal life to try to put the soul in such a condition in which it would feel "comfortable" not here, on the Earth, but there, in "the life of the future century". Certainly, such a Lent, with such purposes, is meaningful only for those who sincerely aspires to "the life of the future century" with the God, to that which in the orthodox tradition is named "saving the soul".  So, the fall of popularity of the Lent is quite natural and organic among those who tried "to practice" it with the opposite purposes.

It is obvious, that to the Lent has not any chance to transform into a cheerful folklore holiday like the pancake Week, Easter or Christmas. Therefore for the Orthodox it will always remain an opportunity to realize that Christianity is not of this world, not connected with passing hobbies and styles...

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